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Partner euroford


Jan 25, 2006, 9:02 AM
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planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond
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i've been aid climbing for years, but the stars have just never alinged properly for me to do a wall. i guess between work, living in city's not condusive to climbing and partners its not until now seemed realistic.

well, its time to change that. this comming summer will be my partner and i's third season climbing together, and last year i began introducing him to aiding and we finally decieded we are game for it. we've made our early summer trip out to RMNP for the last couple of years and we've spent more than a little bit of time catching views of the diamond longing to spend some time up on it.

so well, now its decieded, some time towards the end of june, begining of july we're going to do the Dunn/Westbay route. this route sounds good for a couple of reasons; its not rated too hard, but not too easy either, its big, but not huge, its on the diamond, its in RMNP, we have other goals in RMNP as well and i feel as though i can be kind of 'done' for the time being with RMNP if we finish our buisiness in the cathedral spires and also tackle the diamond, its an alpine wall, and i'm pretty much guaranteed to suffer.

so why am i posting? well, a couple of reasons. first off, the aid forum is kinda dead at the moment so its something to talk about. second, i'm sure i can some good beta on the route, gear and means and methods from you fine folks.

first off, the general plan:

day 1: depart from trailhead with shitloads of gear in the early morning. hike it in, rap down the chasm view raps to broadway, portaledge bivy at base of route, reorganize for hauling, eat, drink and chill. i expect this to be the crux of the outing.

day 2: early start, climb and haul to top of pitch three, portaledge bivy and possably fix pitch four. with free climbing on first three pitches, steve takes the lead.

day 3: very early start, climb and haul as much as possable until we top out or decide on another bivy.

day 4: very early start, plan to finish early in the day, contemplate tagging the summit but 99% likely descend cables route from topout, eat nacho's and drink margarittas and beers at eds ASAP.


so, having thought this through; i would love to hear ANY information from poeple who have experience on this route or the diamond to help with our planning, gear selection ect.

some specific questions:

is it realistic for us to consider melting some snow or gathering some runoff at broadway to augment our h2o supply or should we anticipate packing in all non alchoholic fluids?

considering the approach i'm thinking we'll take two BD touchstone haulbags as opposed to saddling one climber with a larger bag.

above pitch 3 we'll be leading in blocks with me on the sharpend until we deciede to do diffrent, i plan to short fix ect. i would like a good explaination on hauling and short fixing. i have some ideas, but would like to hear it from somebody with good experience.

it looks like the metolious portaledges and fly's have been redesigned and look nice. any opinions?

i'm pretty familiar with RMNP's weather patterns, and for the most part i've seen it at its worst, i'm quite prepaired to be terrified and suffer a good bit, but obviously a portaledge bivy takes this to a whole nother level. thoughts?

am i totally out of my friggen mind?




thanks yall!


iamcolinslack


Jan 25, 2006, 9:20 AM
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Re: time to do our first wall i suppose..... [In reply to]
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wait, what?


Partner euroford


Jan 25, 2006, 3:36 PM
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Re: time to do our first wall i suppose..... [In reply to]
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wait what, what??

kinda sad: the "springs to assist jumping" thread in the slackline forum has 42 replies and 970 views.... while my poor aiding on the diamond thread gets nothing... lol, oh well :D

regarding the rack:

we have a full selection of cams (doubles little stuff, tripples medium stuff, doubles big stuff) and nuts (2xoffsets, 2xmicro's, 3xstoppers) as well as specific aid trickery (cam hooks, hooks) but some route specific gear beta would be appreciated. i read one rack recomendation that included ballnuts. don't got those, and would rather not buy them unless mandatory.

but this brings us to another topic, to bring iron or not. i've read that the route has in the last couple of years gone clean, but i wonder if this has become the commonly accepted practice or if the route has simply seen a couple of clean ascents by determined and highly experienced parties weilding uncommon trickery.


Partner euroford


Jan 25, 2006, 3:40 PM
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Re: time to do our first wall i suppose..... [In reply to]
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wait what, what??

kinda sad: the "springs to assist jumping" thread in the slackline forum has 42 replies and 970 views.... while my poor aiding on the diamond thread gets nothing... lol, oh well :D

regarding the rack:

we have a full selection of cams (doubles little stuff, tripples medium stuff, doubles big stuff) and nuts (2xoffsets, 2xmicro's, 3xstoppers) as well as specific aid trickery (cam hooks, hooks) but some route specific gear beta would be appreciated. i read one rack recomendation that included ballnuts. don't got those, and would rather not buy them unless mandatory.

but this brings us to another topic, to bring iron or not. i've read that the route has in the last couple of years gone clean, but i wonder if this has become the commonly accepted practice or if the route has simply seen a couple of clean ascents by determined and highly experienced parties weilding uncommon trickery.


maldaly


Jan 25, 2006, 4:12 PM
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Re: time to do our first wall i suppose..... [In reply to]
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euroford,
Trick #1. Realize that the climbing STARTS at 13,000'. Climb a lot on the Sharkstooth, Grepon, Spearhead but nothing beats doing a route on Chasm View. I recommend the Red Wall over Directissima for a full-value climb. Directissima is like cheating..too straight forward and too short. The other bene from doing a route on Chasm Wall is you get to stash some shit up there. I guided and climbed a lot up there and there's a huge difference between doing a route at 12,000 (the Grepon) and climbing on the Diamond. Maybe it's the fear factor combined with the altitude.

Trick #2. Get onto the Diamond before you climb it. Take an easy day and do Keiner's but make sure you stop for lunch at Table Ledge. That's right; when you're 3/4 up the Giant Staircase poke around the edge a bit and you'll find Table Ledge. You can hike on to it. There is no better place to have lunch. This will also allow you to scope the descent.

Funny Story: I left some beers up there in 1982 for friends who were climbing the Casual Route. Turns out they bailed and I'd wondered for 23 years who got those beers. At the trade show last year I was having dinner with Gene Kistler (From Water Stone Outdoors at the NRG) and he told this wild story about climbing the Diamond with a reluctant partner in '82 and finding beers on Table Ledge! Those beers couldn't have gone to a better guy.

Snow on Broadway is a pretty sure thing in early July but you can see if it's there from the road. Plan accordingly.

Haven't done Dunn/Westbay (RIP) but I hear good things.

BallNutz replace LAs and blades. I've got a demo set you can borrow if you want.

The hike from the Boulderfield to Chasm View just sucks with big loads. So does the North Chimney. In my mind it's a toss-up.

Mal


Partner pt


Jan 25, 2006, 4:51 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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I haven't done the Dunn-Westbay but I have completed the Diamond 8 different times and I have also had a failed attempt on Bright Star. For Bright Star we brought in a large aid rack and a portaledge. We did the hike to chasm view and the rappels. It was a pretty tough day physically but not too much. The raps are a little scary with a haul bag as there is some loose stuff, just be careful. I would leave the parking lot around 8 or 9 in the morning so you have all day to stroll in and get set up on broadway. You can always get water in the boulder field if it looks like the broadway snow field is melted out. The route looks pretty cool from what I can tell. I would also think some big training days would be a good idea, maybe even one of the harder free routes like D7 using aid to get through the cruxes. Dunn-Westbay seems pretty proud for a first Diamond Route, but what the hell, might as well go for it! Malcolm's idea for going out on table ledge is a good one. I brought a non-climber friend up Kieners once and we went out onto Table ledge. I clipped him into the rap anchors so he could lean out over the wall, he thought it was the coolest place he had ever been!


Partner euroford


Jan 25, 2006, 4:59 PM
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Re: time to do our first wall i suppose..... [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Trick #1. Realize that the climbing STARTS at 13,000'. Climb a lot on the Sharkstooth, Grepon, Spearhead but nothing beats doing a route on Chasm View. I recommend the Red Wall over Directissima for a full-value climb. Directissima is like cheating..too straight forward and too short. The other bene from doing a route on Chasm Wall is you get to stash some s--- up there. I guided and climbed a lot up there and there's a huge difference between doing a route at 12,000 (the Grepon) and climbing on the Diamond. Maybe it's the fear factor combined with the altitude.

we'll be up on the sharktooth and petit a couple of days before the diamond trip, in fact we'll be in estes for nearly a week before hand. i've personally never even noticed altitude (including a climb of ranier), but my partner has (the hike into the gash -killed- him last year, but he was fine after a bivy, though he was also fine on ranier) so it is a factor. so always, yeah who knows, maybe the altitude shuts us down, maybe its fine? but in all honesty, being an alpine objective at altitude is part of the alure so we can accept that. i can damn sure also understand the fear factor, but then again, its another reason why we are doing this! fortunatly my work in high rise construction has helped mitigate irrational fear of exposure.

In reply to:
Trick #2. Get onto the Diamond before you climb it. Take an easy day and do Keiner's but make sure you stop for lunch at Table Ledge. That's right; when you're 3/4 up the Giant Staircase poke around the edge a bit and you'll find Table Ledge. You can hike on to it. There is no better place to have lunch. This will also allow you to scope the descent.

thats definitly something to consider. in fact i seriously regret having not done that last year. we actually talked about it when we first started exploring ideas about aiding on the diamond. the only problem of course, is that we are already starting to push the edge of whats feasable on our limited vacation time. oh how i envoy those living within a short trip of this place...

In reply to:
Funny Story: I left some beers up there in 1982 for friends who were climbing the Casual Route. Turns out they bailed and I'd wondered for 23 years who got those beers. At the trade show last year I was having dinner with Gene Kistler (From Water Stone Outdoors at the NRG) and he told this wild story about climbing the Diamond with a reluctant partner in '82 and finding beers on Table Ledge! Those beers couldn't have gone to a better guy.

that is absolutly awsome! nothing in the world is better than free beer, except maybe finding them on table ledge!

In reply to:
Snow on Broadway is a pretty sure thing in early July but you can see if it's there from the road. Plan accordingly.

ahh, right you are. in fact i have photos from our campsite last year where you can see it. i just dug them up now that you mentioned it. i'm pretty cranky without some jetboil coffee press action in the morning, nice to know we'll be able to replenish at broadway.

In reply to:
Haven't done Dunn/Westbay (RIP) but I hear good things.

wanna join us? i'm sure steve would appreciate the help with the pigs! :D

In reply to:
BallNutz replace LAs and blades. I've got a demo set you can borrow if you want.

i already had you listed under 'one of the coolest guys in the world', now i see your gunning for the top of that list. so i guess your endorsing that a couple of punters from the flatlands could handle this hammerless? i'm definitly game for it.

In reply to:
The hike from the Boulderfield to Chasm View just sucks with big loads. So does the North Chimney. In my mind it's a toss-up.

thats what i've heard, but it sounds like some extra misery and good possability for unecessary danger to others to even consider hauling the north chimney. either way, yeah, suffering is guaranteed.


Partner euroford


Jan 25, 2006, 5:31 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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I haven't done the Dunn-Westbay but I have completed the Diamond 8 different times and I have also had a failed attempt on Bright Star. For Bright Star we brought in a large aid rack and a portaledge. We did the hike to chasm view and the rappels. It was a pretty tough day physically but not too much. The raps are a little scary with a haul bag as there is some loose stuff, just be careful. I would leave the parking lot around 8 or 9 in the morning so you have all day to stroll in and get set up on broadway.

thanks for the info, from what you said it actually paints a picture a good bit better than i was imagining. we'll probobly still start around 6-7 though, if things go well and we could make the top of pitch-3 on the first day i would be thrilled. or otherwise just take the extra time to enjoy ourselves and be well setup.

In reply to:
You can always get water in the boulder field if it looks like the broadway snow field is melted out.

awsome. i'm a water fiend so i'll take every bit i can get.

In reply to:
The route looks pretty cool from what I can tell. I would also think some big training days would be a good idea, maybe even one of the harder free routes like D7 using aid to get through the cruxes. Dunn-Westbay seems pretty proud for a first Diamond Route, but what the hell, might as well go for it! Malcolm's idea for going out on table ledge is a good one. I brought a non-climber friend up Kieners once and we went out onto Table ledge. I clipped him into the rap anchors so he could lean out over the wall, he thought it was the coolest place he had ever been!

i had thought about doing D7, but i just don't want to be the aid wanker skrewing up somebodys diamond free route. we'll be back for a free route eventually, but like you said, 'might as well go for it'. even if we bailed i'd be proud of giving this route a good shot.

we'll, i think you guys might have me sold doing keiners, in fact getting that altitude might even make things all the better for our free climbing in the cathedrals.


dangle


Jan 25, 2006, 6:02 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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Euro,
Cheers mate! The Diamond right side is a scary hunk o' stone I've bypassed. You might want to wait until later summer for less north face drip.
Rap from Chasm and escort the bag, done both but this is safer. The Cables descent is smart. Have you considered horsepacking to the Boulderfield to preserve your strength? That whole biz is above 4000m and I need to rest after peeing.

Or you could do Pervertical and if some free climber whines you could say,"the guy who put it up says thats the way I should do it, you lightweight!" and then drop a bong.
The year before I did it I made the 4th ascent of Curving Vine and every hour a party on D7 dropped a bong with remarkable acoustic results...


flamer


Jan 25, 2006, 6:28 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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In reply to:
You might want to wait until later summer for less north face drip.

A very good point...it's been an exceptionally big snow year in the norther mountains....sometimes the whole right side stays wet until August!!!


Not to put a bur in your saddle, as I wish you the best of luck!!, but the diamond would be one hell of a an undertaking for a first big aid line.

Maybe you should try one of the Aid routes on Sundance first....

Also as far as a clean ascent goes....when it first went clean the only sketchy part was supposed to be a belay anchor...but rumor is that they have now been bolted.

Good luck and have fun!!!

josh


Partner euroford


Jan 26, 2006, 12:43 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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In reply to:
You might want to wait until later summer for less north face drip.

In reply to:
A very good point...it's been an exceptionally big snow year in the norther mountains....sometimes the whole right side stays wet until August!!!

you guys definitly have a good point there, and one that hadn't occured to me. i'll definitly have to bump this thread back up, start another one and/or poll some of my other rescources on this when our date gets closer. though i'm not sure this would be a go/no go condition, its one that could turn us around.

In reply to:
Have you considered horsepacking to the Boulderfield to preserve your strength? That whole biz is above 4000m and I need to rest after peeing.

i hadn't thought about that, in fact, i didn't even know there we horses in RMNP whatsoever. i'll check into it, we could probobly carry more beer that way.... i havn't ridden a horse in years, would be kinda fun.

In reply to:
Or you could do Pervertical and if some free climber whines you could say,"the guy who put it up says thats the way I should do it, you lightweight!" and then drop a bong.
The year before I did it I made the 4th ascent of Curving Vine and every hour a party on D7 dropped a bong with remarkable acoustic results...

LOL, thats not really the kind of "Bong Hit" i'm usually all about!

In reply to:
Not to put a bur in your saddle, as I wish you the best of luck!!, but the diamond would be one hell of a an undertaking for a first big aid line.

i'm perfectly up for some constructive criticism, and the fact remains "one hell of an undertaking" is exacly what i'm looking for. if you said it was "almost definitly over your head" that would get me to reconsider, as i do respect your opinion.

i think if i posted up "im going to do zodiac for my first wall route" everybody would be like "hell yeah, send!" despite zodiac being considerably bigger, out in sunny Yos i wouldn't have to contend with the weather, approach and altitude that i will on the diamond. as far as the actual climbing is concerned, Dunn/Westbay seams like a fairly straight up route with no routefinding challanges.

in fact, the climbing itself looks glorious! what i think will make or break us will be the weather, the approach and the altitude, but as i said before, being an alpine wall is a great part of the allure for us.

In reply to:
Also as far as a clean ascent goes....when it first went clean the only sketchy part was supposed to be a belay anchor...but rumor is that they have now been bolted.

i read over on the climbingboulder.com that a fella had added two bolts at belay's, have you heard more bolting? from the info i have it seams unecessary, but i'm sure while i'm up there i won't be complaining.


thanks everybody for contibuting to my thread and my planning. being that i'm stuck in chicago with so little time to actually spend climbing real objectives its important for me to do as much pre-planning and prepairation as i can. we have almost no social network of serious climbers out here whatsoever, so i really do depend on you guys to help me sort some of these things out and i can't tell you how much i appreciate it!


dangle


Jan 26, 2006, 1:42 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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No, no, no, don't drop THAT bong!
Hell Euro, at least you know a bong from a bong.
Really the sound of a 3" piton hitting Broadway and rocketing out was truly terrifying. Plus it was July 4th weekend and you could see numerous people on Upper Mills dropping their loads and bolting for cover behind boulders. It was highly entertaining from a solid belay.

On the "over your head" factor just remember that elements can combine to be more than the sum of their parts. The wall can seem far more intimidating when you're high on it tired out on day 3 or 4 with little sleep when a nasty storm breaks pelting you with grauppel and cracking lightning bolts next to you on the crux after dropping a critical piece of gear yada yada.

I prefer seiging warm uncrowded walls myself, but that's problematic from Chicago.
Oxymoron that it is just use common sense.


krusher4


Jan 26, 2006, 2:56 PM
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Good Job for working up the balls and saying your going to do something, it sort of forces you to follow though. At least that is how it works for me LOL.


Partner euroford


Jan 27, 2006, 6:43 AM
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In reply to:
On the "over your head" factor just remember that elements can combine to be more than the sum of their parts. The wall can seem far more intimidating when you're high on it tired out on day 3 or 4 with little sleep when a nasty storm breaks pelting you with grauppel and cracking lightning bolts next to you on the crux after dropping a critical piece of gear yada yada.

i hear that. as much as anything i should anticipate entropy to be one of our biggest enemies! keeping our heads together in the face of major adversity will be a big challange, but i think i'm mentally prepaired for the worst, i would like sunshine and fast progress to be a pleasant surprise i'm not depending on. a team being surprised by horrable weather and suffering would be nieve.

In reply to:
I prefer seiging warm uncrowded walls myself, but that's problematic from Chicago.
Oxymoron that it is just use common sense.

we had thought about making another trip latter in the summer to do a wall in zion, but at this time, lengthening our CO trip for a wall we pine for anyways sounds like the best idea. like i said before, maybe after this trip we can feel kind of 'done' with RMNP for the time being we can hang up the alpine suffering for a couple of seasons and enjoy some more benign climates!

In reply to:
Good Job for working up the balls and saying your going to do something, it sort of forces you to follow though. At least that is how it works for me LOL.

its not so much working up the balls to publicly commit to the project, but more like: what good would a climbing forum be if i didn't use it to talk about climbing?


Partner euroford


Jan 27, 2006, 6:53 AM
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i'm still seriouslly hung up on which ledge to go buy. maybe yall can give me some recomendations taking into account the wall we are planning on.

1: Fish double wamm. at $655 with a fly, its a bargain. but also the smallest ledge of the three and though i have no doubt fish does everything he can to make a quality product, i have doubts about that relative to the more expensive major label offerings.

2: Metolious bomb shelter with fly. at $800 it fits the middle ground in price, size and weight. from what i can tell, the ledge and fly appear to be recently redesigned and beefed up. it looks like MH is now making the fly, i'd call this a selling point as i've had fantastic experience with MH's tents.

3: ACE cliff cabana and yos fly: at $1300 we are talking a ton of dough. but from what i've seen a seriously burrly, well thought out and well executed design. largest and heaviest of the group.


flamer


Jan 27, 2006, 8:10 AM
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I still like my old A5 double....it's light weight and big enough to get the job done. I used my partners metolious bomb shelter on a wall a couple of years ago....it was ok for sleeping on(once you got that damn spreader bar in place!) but it was heavier and longer(when packed up) and all in all I thought the weight was a bigger issue.

Personally I'm more a light and fast guy, so if i'm doing something with a ledge I go for the lighter, slightly smaller stuff. Comfort is a luxury you will pay for with fatique and a sore back!


josh


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Jan 27, 2006, 11:12 AM
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In reply to:
above pitch 3 we'll be leading in blocks with me on the sharpend until we deciede to do diffrent, i plan to short fix ect. i would like a good explaination on hauling and short fixing. i have some ideas, but would like to hear it from somebody with good experience.am i totally out of my friggen mind?

I've hiked a lot in RMNP in my preclimbing days but haven't been back since I've been a climber. But the Diamond sure doesn't sound like the place to be trying out hauling and short fixing for the first time.

That is a hell of a long way to drag all that gear just to find out you can't move fast enough (which is what does most big wall beginners in).

Good luck, but you might consider getting your system well dialed in a less commiting environment.


Partner euroford


Jan 27, 2006, 1:14 PM
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In reply to:
I've hiked a lot in RMNP in my preclimbing days but haven't been back since I've been a climber. But the Diamond sure doesn't sound like the place to be trying out hauling and short fixing for the first time.

That is a hell of a long way to drag all that gear just to find out you can't move fast enough (which is what does most big wall beginners in).

Good luck, but you might consider getting your system well dialed in a less commiting environment.

okay, let me clarify. my question wasn't about hauling -or- shortfixing as i have a firm grasp of both techniques. my question was specificlly about hauling -while- short fixing.

this is what i was envisioning:

- leader climbs pitch to next belay

- leader builds full anchor for fixing the lead line and hauling

- leader goes offbelay

- leader pulls up lead line slack, fixes lead line

- second prepaires to haul

- leader sets up hauling device and haulline

- second lowers bags

- leader hauls a short distance so bags clear belay

- second weights lead line, brakes down anchor, begins cleaning pitch

- with haul line and lead line of the same length, leader re-rigs end of haul line through second hauling device, reattaches haul line to harness and begins next pitch on solo belay

- second reaches anchor, puts leader on proper belay, resumes hauling

- on the next pitch, when cleaned gear is tagged to the leader, the original haul device would also be tagged up.


we'll work all of this out in the field well before our attempt on the diamond, but that sounds like a fairly efficiant way to keep the leader leading and the second either jugging or hauling. i've played around enough with all forms of hauling to feel comfortable, and have enjoyed short fixing on smaller 'in a day' climbs, i've just not had a chance to put it all together.

i know most of our short-fixing and leading in blocks discusions around here have been more in the context of climbing light and fast or in a push, i'd like to elaborate on some of these techniques as applied to a more heavy handed wall climb.



this is going to be allot of fun, in that "i have a weird idea of fun" kinda way :twisted:


tarsier


Jan 27, 2006, 4:02 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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Although there are a couple of reservable bivy sites on Broadway, I think it's illegal to bivy on the upper face of the Diamond. Anybody know if this is true and enforced?


Partner euroford


Jan 27, 2006, 4:15 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Although there are a couple of reservable bivy sites on Broadway, I think it's illegal to bivy on the upper face of the Diamond. Anybody know if this is true and enforced?

from the RMNP website:

In reply to:
A bivouac is a temporary, open-air encampment established between dusk and dawn and is issued only to technical climbers. The permit also provides technical climbers with an advanced position on long, one-day climbs and/or climbs that require an overnight stay on the rock face. All bivouacs require permits. Permits must be in your possession while in the backcountry.


rockitjeff


Jan 27, 2006, 4:59 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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you would be wiser to consider the south face of washington's column or the west face of leaning tower

dreams of glory from afar in winter is easy. living in chi-town and stepping up to the plate off the bench is a big stretch. except for Rob Slater (and maybe the Stettner Bros


onbelay007


Jan 27, 2006, 8:33 PM
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Re: planning for first wall, dunn-westbay/diamond [In reply to]
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Dunn-Westbay??? I never agreed to do this climb with you. You told me we were going out to Colorado for fly fishing!!?? The only way I'm going up there is if you agree to spoon with me.


Partner euroford


Jan 27, 2006, 8:36 PM
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Dunn-Westbay??? I never agreed to do this climb with you. You told me we were going out to Colorado for fly fishing!!?? The only way I'm going up there is if you agree to spoon with me.

no way dickhead, thats why they have a divider on the portaledge, errr, i mean boat!


alvinswill


Jan 27, 2006, 9:15 PM
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The right side of the Diamond can get real wet as it sits under the north face. But it's real steep over there so the water is often several feet out from the face. Have fun but be sure to do Hallets or something like it first.
Ron love your bong story.


onbelay007


Jan 27, 2006, 9:59 PM
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I would have to say that I am not afraid of failure at all. Euroford and I have had quite a few failures in our not-so-illustrious climbing career but giving it an honest shot is what it is all about. I'm not to worried about the approach as we'll make sure we're in darn good shape before leaving but all tips would be greatly appreciated so that we do have the best chance of succeeding. Being from Chicago I think we're at a definite disadvantage but that's half of the adventure. I guess my question would be if it is even worth bringing a portaledge or would it be better to fix a few pitches, rap down and continue up the next day (even though that's not the best style).

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